The challenges around warehouse optimisation

Posted on August 23, 2021

Rina Redelinghuys, CQuential WMS Customer Services Executive, examines the challenges around warehouse optimisation.

Supply chain is about efficiencies and facilitating an optimal flow of product from source to consumption. Warehousing is no different and the main objective is to reduce the cost per unit stored and handled within the warehouse without compromising customer service and fulfilment lead times.

The benefits of driving best practices within the warehouse:

  • Reduced operational costs
  • Competitive prices for the customer
  • Reducing capital tied up in stock and underutilised resources and machinery
  • Reduced non-value-added activities that contribute to longer lead times
  • Improved visibility and measurement within the warehouse.

How can a business improve on its warehouse utilisation?

This can be achieved by:

  • Improving layout and design
  • Improving planning and forecasting of inventory storage requirements
  • Deploying multi-purpose racking configurations
  • Partnering with a supply chain professional to review current storage profiles
  • Creating optimal material flows
  • Sharing and making operational data available
  • Deploying warehouse automation in key areas
  • Automating shipping processes.
  • Minimising the number of times the inventory is handled. Manual operations slow movements through the warehouse and can introduce errors.
  • Cross-functional organisational plans.
  • Eliminating silos from the loading dock through to delivery and transport operations—this in turn removes barriers to growth and innovation
  • Acquire end-to-end visibility throughout all processes.

The supply chain and warehouse will always be under consistent pressure to respond to changes in customer behaviour and expectations. There will be a lot of solutions on the market, but the key is to find a fit to the businesses requirements and not overspend on equipment or systems that will not improve the overall warehouse performance.

Businesses need to plan for future requirements and not only focus on the current requirement as the environment will change over time.

Flexibility and agility are key, and this will drive sustainability into the future. If a business is very diversified and has many different operational requirements due to the type of products sold, then it may be more effective to consult with a 3PL logistics provider that has many different configurations and options to choose from when it comes to effective storage.

Alignment between people, processes and technology will drive further efficiencies within the warehouse. Without the right technology, it will be very difficult to measure the warehouse performance and to identify opportunities for improvement. The WMS is the source from which all improvements and efficiencies will emanate.


Catch my next piece where we will look at the importance of Master Data.

In case you missed it – also read: Warehouse theft prevention tips

For more information contact one of our Business Consultants on 011 712 1300; email info@cquential.com or visit our website www.cquential.com

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